At one time in my life I would have thought by the time I was 35 years old I'd be a Harding Alumni. You see I grew up in the Church of Christ in the midwest, and was in a church where everyone graduated high school and went to Harding. In fact, I had one of my senior pictures taken in full Hardng University attire. Yet, I have a fairly strong rebellious streak in me so I bucked the tide of following like another lemming off the HU cliff and chose to attend York College, the "liberal" school.
My own experiences at York College are one reason I take the issue of the HUQueerPress so seriously. My best friend my freshman year at York was gay. Even at the "liberal" COC college I went to, I wittnessed first hand this was not Ok. He did not return after that first year, it seemed to him to embrace "coming out" meant leaving YC. You see counselors, professors, and students claimed to love him, yet it is hard to feel love from a person who thinks you need to be fixed.
As I followed the @HUQueerPress feed today I could not help but see ruminations of a debate very similar a generation before at Harding. "If you don't like how Harding treats Black students you are free to go elsewhere." I know the black eye and continuing consequences that racial segregation has wrought on the Churches of Christ. I could not help but be proud of these new voices who stand against such sexual biogtry, and challenge the university to do better than it has.
My hope is that a surge of student allies will rise up and shape a better response than the response of Harding University president David Burks did in chapel today. My hope is that there are Harding students ready to follow the Jesus path, to be persecuted for loving and supporting those the "purity police" deem unclean. My hope is that the love embodied by Jesus will break down EVERY barrier of segregation and opression at Harding, in the Churches of Christ, in Christianity at large, and in all the world.
Sadly, until Conservative Christianity comes to an end in this country and children aren't indoctrinated to take the bible as the literal truth that it is not, you won't see much of a change. Until Christians realize that this world doesn't belong exclusively to them and they have to accept there are people who do not believe as they do, they will continue to try an oppress those who do not believe as they do.
HU inconsistencies go way beyond the homosexual issue, even though that is now the most "up-front" one now.
I think this may be the beginning of HU imploding.
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